When I was in Grade 9, I had a well-made, good quality bag and whenever I’d be bored in class I’d pull on one of its threads and play with it, not thinking anything of my seemingly insignificant action.
One day I was walking through the hallway and my books suddenly fell right through the bag. After unsuccessfully trying to play it cool, pretending I dropped my books on purpose, thinking I was a victim of a Grade 9 initiation prank. I started planning my revenge, “Just wait until I find out who did this, I’m gonna get the person who cut my bag” I thought to myself. But as I looked closely, I realized, I was the culprit of my own bag’s destruction. The bag hadn’t been cut at all, it had grown weak from all my thread pulling. I’d been pulling at the threads for so long that this one time good quality bag was destroyed.
Although this experience forced me to walk around carrying my books in a grocery bag for the rest of the year, making me way less cool than I already was in Grade 9 (so much so I was in the negatives), it also taught me an interesting lesson – that sometimes even the smallest and most seemingly insignificant actions can have consequences, whether they are good or bad.
Maybe we add a little more sugar to our coffee every morning not realizing the impact the extra calories is having on us, maybe we are spending a little more money every month on things we don’t need without knowing it or worse, maybe we regularly poke fun at someone we know, not realizing the potentially devastating effect our words are having.
And like I realized with my bag in Grade 9, small repeated, seemingly insignificant actions can have destructive consequences, but they can also be awesome.
Maybe you cut a little bit of sugar from your diet everyday, maybe you save an extra few bucks a month and maybe you compliment someone different every day. Before you know it, you’re losing weight, saving enough money for a vacation or you’re completely making someone’s day just when they really needed their day made.
The fact is, true change rarely happens in grand moments. More often, whether good or bad, true change happens with consistent repeatable behaviour.
Your actions, although sometimes seemingly insignificant, do have consequences, just be aware of what they are and whether or not they align with what you want.